Sri Lanka Travel and Team Update for 2020
While the travel industry worldwide is going through a tough time due to the spread of Covid-19, it’s no different in Sri Lanka. Initially, Sri Lanka looked like one of the least affected countries with only one confirmed case up until early March. But since then, the number of positive patients has been steadily increasing. However, the government has been taking the necessary precautions and working alongside the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA). With swift actions and protocols, they re-assure the public that they will contain the virus.
Following the WHO guidelines, some of the tourist attractions like national parks have closed down temporarily along with public gatherings for religious holidays canceled. Although there are concerns over how long these measures will last, the most important part is educating the public. There are 14 hospitals around the island with designated treatment and quarantine centers, we remain calm and patient as the situation improves.
During the past couple of weeks, most of our staff have been busy accommodating cancellations, postponements, and amendments to our guests’ itineraries. On the ground, these schedule corrections have resulted in sudden changes to their departure flights. While the virus has disrupted all of us, we are grateful that the whole industry has come together to overcome these tough times together. Khiri Sri Lanka would like to thank the support that we have received from all our agents, hotels, and other business partners: it has been tremendous.
Once the chaos of ever-changing flight schedules and border controls have settled down, we expect a lull for a couple of months, where things will be really quiet. As we all focus on recovery and practice social distancing, that is the best time for us to focus on all the other things that we couldn’t implement earlier this year.
With product development being one of the main cornerstones, we are planning and developing some new experiences. Internally, our team will also shift our attention towards digitalization and updating our databases. Sustainability initiatives will be another important aspect which we will prioritize. Having recently obtained our Travelife certification, our next step would be to identify potential community programs to start with our nonprofit Khiri Reach: these projects will be initiated as soon as things get back to normal.
While there will be tough times in the near future, it is really comforting to see everyone coming together and helping each other. As the travel industry is full of resilient and positive people, we will bounce back. Having gone through a similar situation last year, we are optimistic that we will get through this.